Funshine Friday!

Yesterday,  Thursday, was the first day FOR WEEKS that it didn’t rain (or snow).   Personally I think a celebration is in order! 

We’ve had the most awful rain here in the South of England.  Heavy, bucketing it down, soak you to the skin, horrid, horrible rain.  I’ve had to remind myself, over and over, that God doesn’t tell me when to water my garden, so I don’t have the right to tell him when to water his.  I’m pretty sure that there’s method in what I consider to be a ‘rain madness’ – and I’m sure that all will become clear(ish) eventually.  But until then, I’ve agreed with Mr.Cobs that it’s probably better that he continue to build the Ark  from the kit I bought him, which he began work on a few weeks ago:

Noahs Ark Kit

Not entirely convinced that it’s going to be big enough for all those 2×2 animals from around the world that are the requirement for a structure like this – but we’ll do our best, and if they have to be Lego sized, then so be it.  I’ll pack a magician who might be able to turn them into the real deal when we get through the journey.   😀

Aaanyhoo  . . .   I thought we could do with a smidgen of fun on a Friday, since we are now officially in Spring (except for those of you on the other side of the planet – and I’m sure ‘fun’ is a requirement for Autumn  going into Winter, down there!).  So with FUN in mind, I share with you a Text Message received from daughter No.2 . . .

She sent me, in full, the following:

The Washington Post has published its yearly neologism contest in which readers are asked to supply alternate meaning for common words … and the winners are:

  1. Coffee (n), the person upon whom one coughs.
  2. Flabbergasted (adj) appalled over how much weight you have gained.
  3. Abdicate (v) to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
  4. Esplanade (v) to attempt an explanation while drunk.
  5. Willy-nilly  (adj), impotent.
  6. Negligent (adj), describes a condition in which you absent mindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
  7. Lymph (v), to walk with a lisp.
  8. Gargoyle (n), gross olive-flavoured mouthwash.
  9. Flatulence (n), emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
  10. Balderdash (n),  a rapidly receding hairline.
  11. Rectitude (n),  the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
  12. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologists.
  13. Circumvent (n), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.
  14. Frisbeetararianism  (n), (back by popular demand):  The belief that when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

Those tickled me in just the right place,  and also brought back a memory of something I read a few years ago, about words which had a meaning of what they meant, and also the opposite of what they meant.  Get these . . . .

  • Dust, along with the next two words, is a noun turned into a verb meaning either to add or to remove the thing in question.  Only the context will tell you which it is. When you dust are you applying dust or removing it?  It all depends whether you’re dusting the crops or the furniture.
  • Screen can mean ‘to show’ (a movie) or ‘to hide’ (an unsightly view).
  • Seed can also go either way.  If you seed the lawn you add seeds, but if you seed a tomato you remove them.
  • Stone is another verb to use with caution. You can stone some peaches, but please don’t stone your neighbour (even if he says he likes to get stoned).
  • Trim as a verb predates the noun, but it can also mean either adding or taking away. Arising from an Old English word meaning ‘to make firm or strong; to settle, arrange,’ “trim” came to mean ‘to prepare, make ready.’ Depending on who or what was being readied, it could mean either of two contradictory things: ‘to decorate something with ribbons, laces, or the like to give it a finished appearance’ or ‘to cut off the outgrowths or irregularities of.’ And the context doesn’t always make it clear. If you’re trimming the tree are you using tinsel or a chain saw?
  • Resign works as a contronym in writing. This time we have homographs, but not homophones. “Resign,” meaning ‘to quit,’ is spelled the same as “resign,” meaning ‘to sign up again,’ but it’s pronounced differently.
  • Off means ‘deactivated,’ as in “to turn off,” but also ‘activated,’ as in “The alarm went off.”

See … even on non edumacational days, you STILL learn something new!  lol

Have a truly blessed rest of your day, and a wonderful weekend.

Sending you much love ~

Coffee Sig

 

 

 

 

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The Friday Post ~ History of Events on 23rd March

Good morning and happy Friday to you.  How’s your week been?  Good I hope, or at least, very little to complain about.

My week has been busy and wrapped up in tiredness.  I’m not doing anything which burns the candle at both ends, but cooo…  I seem to suddenly find a drop in energy levels between 3pm and 4pm, and I’ll either fall asleep in my chair and catch 40 winks, – or on one day I actually made my way wearily to my bed and slept soundly until 7pm.  I’m beginning to think I should be living somewhere in Spain or Mexico, where they have an afternoon siesta!

Anyhooooo….  This  ‘On this day in History’  of lesson is going to be the last ‘On this day in History’ lesson for a while.  All schools have holidays and breaks to allow pupils some freedom and fun, and this Friday Lesson is doing just that.  But for today,  you’ve come dressed in your school uniforms and ready for some edumacation, so let’s crack on with it, shall we?

23rd March 2018

On this Day in History

1540 – Waltham Abbey is surrendered to King Henry VIII of England; the last religious community to be closed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

1775 – American Revolutionary War: Patrick Henry delivers his speech – “Give me liberty, or give me death!” – at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Richmond, Virginia.

1839 – The first recorded use of “OK” (okay).  Okay, frequently spelled OK and occasionally okeh is a colloquial English word denoting approval, assent, or acknowledgment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OK

1840 – John W. Draper takes first successful photo of the Moon.  John William Draper (May 5, 1811, – January 4, 1882) was an (English-born) American scientist, philosopher, physician, chemist, historian, and photographer.  He was the first person to take an astrophotograph;  he took the first photo of the Moon which showed any lunar features in 1840.

1857 – Elisha Otis’s first elevator is installed at 488 Broadway New York City.  Elisha Graves Otis (August 3, 1811 – April 8, 1861) invented a safety device that prevented elevators from falling if the hoisting cable broke.  He worked on this device while living in Yonkers, New York in 1852, and had a finished product in 1854.

1889 – The free Woolwich Ferry officially opens in east London.  The Woolwich Free Ferry is a boat service across the River Thames, London, UK, which is licensed and financed by London River Services, the maritime arm of Transport for London.  The service is operated by Serco Group under licence from TfL and carries both foot passengers and vehicles.

The ferry carries more than one million vehicles and 2.5 million passengers each year. Occupants of vehicles (including drivers) are counted as passengers.  In depth website about the Woolwich Ferry

1888 – In England,  The Football League,  the world’s oldest professional association football league, meets for the first time.

1901 – Australian opera singer, Dame Nellie Melba, reveals the secret of her now famous toast. Melba toast is a very dry, crisp, thinly sliced toast often served with soups and salads or topped with either melted cheese or pâté.

The toast was created for her by chef (and fan) Auguste Escoffier, who also created the Peach Melba dessert. Melba toast is said to be derived from the crisp toast that was part of Dame Melba’s diet during the year 1897, a year in which she was very ill.

For the cooks among us Melba toast is usually made by lightly toasting bread in the normal way. Once the outside of the bread is slightly firm, it is removed from the toaster and then each slice is cut in half “longitudinally” with a bread knife to make two slices, each half the thickness. These two thin slices are then toasted again to make Melba Toast.

1903 – The Wright Brothers apply for a patent on their invention of one of the first successful air planes.

1909 – Theodore Roosevelt leaves New York for a post-presidency safari in Africa. The trip is sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic Society.

1919 – In Milan, Italy, Benito Mussolini re-formed his Fascist political movement.  Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism.

1933 – The Reichstag passes the Enabling act of 1933,  making Adolf Hitler dictator of Germany.

1956 – Pakistan becomes the first Islamic republic in the world. (Republic Day in Pakistan)

1965 – NASA launches Gemini 3, the United States’ first two-man space flight (crew: Gus Grissom and John Young).

1977 – The first of The Nixon Interviews  (12 recorded over four weeks) are videotaped with British journalist David Frost interviewing former United States President Richard Nixon about the Watergate scandal and the Nixon tapes.

1983 – Strategic Defense Initiative President Ronald Reagan makes his initial proposal to develop technology to intercept enemy missiles.

1994 – Aeroflot Flight 593 crashed into the Kuznetsk Alatau mountain, Kemerovo Oblast, Russia, killing 75, when the pilot’s fifteen-year old son accidentally disengages the autopilot.

1994 – A United States Air Force (USAF) F-16 aircraft collides with a USAF C-130 at Pope Air Force Base and then crashes, killing 24 United States Army soldiers on the ground. This later became known as the Green Ramp disaster.

2001 – The Russian Mir space station is disposed of, breaking up in the atmosphere before falling into the southern Pacific Ocean near Fiji.

~  ❤  ~

Born on this Day

1904 – Joan Crawford, American actress (d. 1977).  NB: The year of Miss Crawford’s birth has been variously identified as 1904, 1906, 1908 and 1909, the last being her own favourite.

1921 – Donald Campbell, British car and motorboat racer (d. 1967)

1925 – David Watkin, English cinematographer (d. 2008) – In Chariots of Fire, he helped create one of the most memorable images of 1980s cinema: the opening sequence in which a huddle of young male athletes pounds along the water’s edge on a beach” to the film’s theme music by Vangelis.

1929 – Sir Roger Bannister, English runner

1935 – Barry Cryer,  OBE.  an English comedian, actor and screenwriter.

1946 – Alan Bleasdale, English screenwriter and producer

1953 – Chaka Khan, American singer

1957 – Amanda Plummer, American actress – daughter of actors Tammy Grimes and Christopher Plummer.

1962 – Sir Steven Redgrave  CBE DL, retired British rower who won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000.  He has also won three Commonwealth Games gold medals and nine World Rowing Championships golds.  He is the most successful male rower in Olympic history, and the only man to have won gold medals at five Olympic Games in an endurance sport.

1965 – Marti Pellow, Scottish singer (Wet Wet Wet)

1968 – Damon Albarn, English musician (Blur, Gorillaz and The Good, the Bad & the Queen)

1971 – Gail Porter, Scottish television presenter

1980 – Russell Howard, English comedian

1983 – Mo Farah, Somali-English runner

1989 – Ayesha Curry, Canadian-American chef, author and television personality

1990 – Princess Eugenie of York.  Younger daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and of Sarah, Duchess of York.  She is eighth in line of succession to the British throne,  and has worked for the Hauser & Wirth art gallery in London as an associate director since 2015.

Died on this Day and remembered here

1965 – Mae Murray, American actress, dancer, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1889)

2001 – Rowland Evans, American journalist (b. 1921)

2002 – Eileen Farrell, American soprano (b. 1920)

2011 – Elizabeth Taylor DBE, American-British actress, socialite and humanitarian (b. 1932)

2012 – Jim Duffy, American animator, director, and producer (b. 1937)

2015 – Lil’ Chris, English singer-songwriter, actor, and television personality (b. 1990)

External Links for more news on this day

Time for a coffee and a slice of contemplation  . . .

cups

Thought for the Day

A book was published in 1913 written by a lady called Eleanor H. Porter, which many of you will have heard about, read or even watched the film which was made based upon this book.  The book was called Pollyanna.

I can see some of you smiling already, – but for those of you who don’t know this book/film let me explain a little more…. 

The writer, Eleanor H. Porter originally trained as a singer, but in her later years she turned to writing.  She wrote books for adult readers, but she wrote mainly children’s literature books.  But Pollyanna was my favourite – both as a child and as an adult. 

Ms. Porter also wrote a sequel:  ‘Pollyanna Grows Up‘, because the book had become so popular.  There are other books, other ‘sequels’, but none of them are written by Eleanor, for Eleanor passed away just seven years after the first Pollyanna book was published.

However, she has left behind her a legacy of monumental proportions.  Not just in me, but in all children of the world who have read this book or had it read to them. 

To be honest, if it were up to me I’d make it compulsory in the first schools, second schools and high schools, purely because of the ‘Glad Game‘ which Pollyanna’s father taught her, and which the reader learns about by reading the book.

Pollyanna was an orphan.  Both of her parents had passed away (not at the same time).  Pollyanna was sent to live with her spinster aunt – a rather stiff, stern, crotchety woman who lived alone – except for a small ‘staff’ – a maid, gardener and a driver.  We do, at a later point in the book, learn that Aunt Polly was like she was because of a lost love.

Pollyanna and her bright, sunny, cheerful, joyous and loving personality, was to transform not only her Aunts life, but the lives of all the people who lived in the small town where she lived.  And she did it simply by teaching everyone she came into contact with:  ‘The Game’.

The Game is ‘The Glad Game‘.  It’s a game which Pollyanna’s father taught to her one Christmas time.

Pollyanna was hoping to find a doll in the missionary barrel which held all manner of things….  however, Pollyanna only found a pair of crutches, which she had no need of.  Naturally Pollyanna was a little disappointed.  Her father, seeing his child’s sad face, made up the game on the spot, and taught Pollyanna how she could look at every situation and find the good side in there somewhere.  And … in this case of the crutches, she could be glad about them, because, he told her,  “we don’t need ’em!”.

Armed with this Glad Game, her life was transformed, and also, the lives of all people around her.

When she moved into her Aunts house following the death of her father, Polly was late coming to the dinner table one evening and her Aunt said that she would be punished by not having the delights that had been prepared for dinner in the dining room, but instead, her punishment would be to have only bread and milk, and she would have to eat it in the kitchen with the servant, Nancy.

Pollyanna was absolutely thrilled to bits and couldn’t thank her Aunt enough!  She explained that she loves bread and milk, and she loves Nancy too, so to be able to eat bread and milk in the kitchen with Nancy was a real treat!

Pollyanna teaches this very same outlook to other people around the little town.  She teaches the invalid, Mrs. Snow, the Glad Game (which takes some considerable time as Mrs. Snow is a real grouch!) …  and eventually Mrs. Snow is playing along and enjoying life again.

And it’s this ‘Glad Game’ which is my thought for the day.

Something which happened recently made me put the Glad Game to work…  and that’s why I’m thinking about it today. 

Some of you may have read Pollyanna … but if you haven’t, or haven’t read it for a while, I urge you to go and borrow a copy from your library, or even buy the book, so that you can learn for yourself about the ‘Glad Game‘, and see if you can put it into practise in your life. 

Every situation you come to,  every problem you find yourself with,  has something in it to be glad about.  It’s that elusive ‘silver lining‘ that people talk about;  sing about;  make movies about!  Find the good in a situation and SNAP!, suddenly the situation doesn’t seem quite as daunting as it did before!

And, once you get used to playing the Glad Game, – teach others how to play it too.

I promise you, that although it’s a simple philosophy, it really does work.

Transform your life …  and then go and transform other people lives for them by teaching them ‘The Glad Game’!.

You, have a great  ‘Glad Game‘  day.

Sending you much love, from me in my corner, to you in yours.

Sig coffee copy

 

The Friday Post ~ 12th January 2018

Hello there, and a very happy Friday the 12th of January to you!

How are you?  What have you been up to this week?  Done anything out of the ordinary?  Been a little bit naughty and spent some money in the January sales?

Me?  Well I’ve been cleaning my craft room and getting things into some sort of  ‘New Year = New Order!’  Every now and again I will go through these phases of changing things around and “getting things in order” – when I have actually come to realise that this ‘getting things in order’ routine, is simply a case of re-organising stuff I have.  At the time I’m doing it, this re-organising makes total sense, but then (roughly) six weeks passes and I need to re-organise all over again!  Tsk tsk …. this is the problem with cleaning.  Nothing ever stays clean, and within days of doing it you have to do it all over again!

But anyhoo ….  you haven’t come here to read about my domestic trials and tribulations, you’ve come for Fridays Edumacation Lesson, which your family has paid a princely amount of money for you to attend, so we’d better get on with it, eh?

Button up your coats.  Tighten your belts.  Seat belts on – exit doors duly noted to the left, right and under the floor … get ready …. we’re going in!

On This Day In History

1773 – The first public Colonial American museum opens in Charleston, South Carolina. The Thirteen Colonies were part of what became known as British America, a name that was used by Great Britain until the Treaty of Paris recognised the independence of the original United States of America. These thirteen British colonies in North America rebelled against British rule in 1775. A provisional government was formed which proclaimed their independence, which is now celebrated as having occurred on July 4, 1776, and subsequently became the original thirteen United States of America. The colonies were founded between 1607 (Virginia), and 1733 (Georgia), although Great Britain held several other colonies in North America and the West Indies.

1866 – The Royal Aeronautical Society is formed in London. Founded in 1866 The Royal Aeronautical Society, also known as the RAeS, is a multidisciplinary professional institution dedicated to the entire global aerospace community.

The objectives of The Royal Aeronautical Society include; to support and maintain the highest professional standards in all aerospace disciplines; to provide a unique source of specialist information and a local forum for the exchange of ideas; and to exert influence in the interests of aerospace in both the public and industrial arenas.

Throughout the world’s aerospace community the name of The Royal Aeronautical Society is widely known and respected. Many practitioners from all disciplines within the aerospace industry use the Society’s designatory post-nominals such as FRAeS, CRAeS, MRAeS, AMRAeS, and ARAeS (incorporating the former graduate grade, GradRAeS).

The Staff of the Royal Aeronautical Society are based at the Society’s headquarters at No.4 Hamilton Place, London, W1J 7BQ. Although centred in the United Kingdom, the Royal Aeronautical Society is a worldwide Society with an international network of 63 Branches

1895 – The National Trust is founded in Britain. The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, usually known as the National Trust, is a conservation organisation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Trust does not operate in Scotland, where there is an independent National Trust for Scotland.

National Trust

According to its website:

“The National Trust works to preserve and protect the coastline, countryside and buildings of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
We do this in a range of ways, through practical caring and conservation, through educating and informing, and through encouraging millions of people to enjoy their national heritage.”

History
The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty was formed in 1895 and is a charitable organisation registered under the Charities Act 1993. Its formal purpose is:

The preservation for the benefit of the Nation of lands and tenements (including buildings) of beauty or historic interest and, as regards lands, for the preservation of their natural aspect, features and animal and plant life. Also the preservation of furniture, pictures and chattels of any description having national and historic or artistic interest.

The Trust was founded on 12 January 1895 by Octavia Hill (1838–1912), Robert Hunter (1844–1913) and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley (1851–1920), prompted in part by the earlier success of Charles Eliot and the Kyrle Society. A fourth individual, the Duke of Westminster (1825–1899), is also referred to in many texts as being a principal contributor to the formation of the Trust.

In the early days the Trust was concerned primarily with protecting open spaces and a variety of threatened buildings; its first property was Alfriston Clergy House and its first nature reserve was Wicken Fen. Its first archaeological monument was White Barrow.

The Trust’s symbol, a sprig of oak leaves and acorns, is thought to have been inspired by a carving in the cornice of the Alfriston Clergy House.

National Trust Logo

Membership
The Trust is one of the largest membership organisations in the world and annual subscriptions are its most important source of income. Membership numbers have grown from 226,200 when the Trust celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1970 to 500,000 in 1975, one million in 1981, two million in 1990 and by 2007, membership had reached 3.5 million.

The members elect half of the Council of the National Trust, and periodically (most recently in 2006) vote on the organisations which may appoint the other half of the Council. Members may also propose and vote on motions at the annual general meeting, although these are advisory and do not decide the policy of the Trust.

In the 1990’s a dispute over whether stag hunting should be permitted on National Trust land caused bitter disputes within the organisation and was the subject of much debate at annual general meetings, but it did little to slow down the growth in member numbers.

There is a separate organisation called The Royal Oak Foundation for American supporters.
The Royal Oak Foundation is an alliance of American citizens supporting the mission of the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, a conservation organisation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The foundation is headquartered in New York City.

Founded in 1973 the Royal Oak Foundation is a United States tax-exempt non-profit organisation. The foundation supports the preservation and conservation of natural beauty, historic properties, houses and gardens in Britain.

In the United States, the foundation sponsors the Drue Heinz Lecture Series, which delivers lectures in major U.S. cities on the subjects of architecture, social history, landscape design, interior decoration, and decorative arts.

Membership is open to the general public, and includes free admission to historic properties operated by the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty.

External Links:  The National Trust Website   /   The Royal Oak Foundation Website

1908 – A long-distance radio message is sent from the Eiffel Tower for the first time.

1915 – The Rocky Mountain National Park is formed by an act of U.S. Congress. Rocky Mountain National Park is a National Park located in the north-central region of the U.S. state of Colorado. It features majestic mountain views, a variety of wildlife, varied climates and environments—from wooded forests to mountain tundra—and easy access to back-country trails and campsites. The park is located northwest of Boulder, Colorado in the Rockies, and includes the Continental Divide and the headwaters of the Colorado River.

Rocky Mountain National Park

The park has five visitor centres. The park headquarters, Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, is a National Historic Landmark, designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin West.

Rocky Mountain National Park 2

The park may be accessed by three roads: U.S. Highway 34, 36, and State Highway 7. Highway 7 enters the park for less than a mile, where it provides access to the Lily Lake Visitor Center. Highway 36 enters the park on the east side, where it terminates after a few miles at Highway 34. Highway 34, known as Trail Ridge Road through the park, runs from the town of Estes Park on the east to Grand Lake on the southwest. The road reaches an elevation of 12,183 feet (3,713 m), and is closed by snow in winter.

Rocky Mountain National Park 3

The park is surrounded by Roosevelt National Forest on the north and east, Routt National Forest on the northwest, and Arapaho National Forest on the southwest.

Rocky Mountain National Park 4

Ecosystems
The lowest elevations in the park are montane forests and grassland. The ponderosa pine, which prefers drier areas, dominates, though at higher elevations Douglas fir trees are found. Above 9,000 feet (2,700 m) the montane forests give way to the sub-alpine forest. Engelmann Spruce and Sub-alpine Fir trees are common in this zone. These forests tend to have more moisture than the montane and tend to be denser. Above tree line, at approximately 11,500 feet (3,500 m), trees disappear and the vast alpine tundra takes over. Due to harsh winds and weather, the plants in the tundra are short with very limited growing seasons. Streams have created lush riparian wetlands across the park.

Climate
July and August are the warmest months in the park, where temperatures can reach the 80’s although it is not uncommon to drop to below freezing at night. Thunderstorms often appear in the afternoons, and visitors should plan on staying below tree line when they occur. Heavy winter snows begin around mid-October, and last into May. While the snow can melt away from the lowest elevations of the park, deep snow is found above 9,000 feet (2,700 m) in the winter, causing the closure of Trail Ridge and Fall River roads during the winter and spring. Most of the trails are under snow this time of the year, and snowshoeing and skiing become popular. Springs tend to be wet, alternating between rain and possibly heavy snows. These snows can occur as late as July.  The west side of the park typically receives more precipitation than the drier east side.  Rocky Mountain National Park (official Site)

1915 – The United States House of Representatives rejects the proposal to give women the right to vote.

1942 – President Franklin Roosevelt creates the National War Labor Board.  The National War Labor Board, was reestablished by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, on January 12, 1942.  It became a tripartite body and was charged with acting as an arbitration tribunal in labor-management dispute cases, thereby preventing work stoppages which might hinder the war effort. It administered wage control in national industries such as automobiles, shipping, railways, airlines, telegraph lines, and mining. The Board was originally divided into 12 Regional Administrative Boards which handled both labor dispute settlement and wage stabilisation functions for specific geographic regions. The National Board further decentralised in 1943, when it established special tripartite commissions and panels to deal with specific industries on a national base. It ceased operating in 1946, and thereafter labor disputes were handled by the National Labor Relations Board, originally set up in 1935.

1967 – Dr. James Bedford becomes the first person to be cryonically preserved with intent of future resuscitation. James Hiram Bedford (20 April 1893 – 12 January 1967) was a University of California psychology professor who had written several books on occupational counselling. He is notable as the first human being to be cryonically preserved(frozen, in this case). Among those in the cryonics community, the anniversary of his cryonic suspension is celebrated as “Bedford Day”.

In June 1965, Ev Cooper’s Life Extension Society offered to preserve one person for free stating that “the Life Extension Society now has primitive facilities for emergency short-term freezing and storing our friend the large homeotherm (man).  LES offers to freeze free of charge the first person desirous and in need of cryogenic suspension” (For the Record). This ultimately turned out to be Dr. Bedford. He was frozen on January 12, 1967 in Glendale, California at age 73.

Bedford was frozen by Robert Prehoda (author of the 1969 book Suspended Animation), Dr. Dante Brunol (physician and biophysicist) and Robert Nelson (President of the Cryonics Society of California). Nelson then wrote a book about the subject titled We Froze the First Man. Modern cryonics organisations perfuse cryonics patients with an anti-freeze (cryoprotectant) to prevent ice formation (vitrification), but the use of cryoprotectants in Bedford’s case was primitive. He was injected with some DMSO, so it is unlikely that his brain was protected. He was truly “frozen”.

Bedford’s body was maintained in liquid nitrogen by his family until 1982. Then it was moved to Alcor Life Extension Foundation, and has remained in Alcor’s care to the present day.  In May 1991, his body’s condition was evaluated when he was moved to a new storage dewar.  The examiners concluded that “it seems likely that his external temperature has remained at relatively low subzero temperatures throughout the storage interval.”

External Links:

1971 – The Harrisburg Seven: The Reverend Philip Berrigan and five others are indicted on charges of conspiring to kidnap Henry Kissinger and of plotting to blow up the heating tunnels of federal buildings in Washington, D.C.

The Harrisburg Seven were a group of religious anti-war activists led by Philip Berrigan. The group became famous when they were unsuccessfully prosecuted for alleged criminal plots during the Vietnam War era. Six of the seven were Irish Catholic nuns or priests. The seventh was Eqbal Ahmad, a Pakistani journalist, American-trained political scientist, and self-described “odd man out” of the group. In 1970, the group attracted government attention when Berrigan, then imprisoned, and Sister Elizabeth McAlister were caught trading letters that alluded to kidnapping National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger and blowing up steam tunnels

Background
Father Berrigan was serving time in the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary, in central Pennsylvania. Boyd Douglas, who eventually would become a FBI informant and star prosecution witness – was a fellow inmate. Douglas was on a work-release at the library at nearby Bucknell University. Douglas used his real connection with Berrigan to convince some students at Bucknell that he was an anti-war activist, telling some that he was serving time for anti-war activities. In fact, he was in prison for check forgery.

Douglas set up a mail drop and persuaded students transcribe letters intended for Berrigan into his school notebooks to smuggle into the prison. (They were later called, unwillingly, as government witnesses.) Douglas was the chief prosecution witness.

The trial
U.S. Attorneys charged the Harrisburg Seven with conspiracy to kidnap Kissinger and bomb heating tunnels. They filed the case in the city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Activist attorney and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark led the defence team for their trial during the spring months of 1972. Unconventionally, he didn’t call any witnesses in his clients’ defence, including the defendants themselves. He reasoned that the jury was sympathetic to his Catholic clients and that sympathy would be ruined by their testimony that they’d burned their draft cards. After an extraordinarily long deliberation, the jury remained hung and the defendants were freed.

Douglas testified that he transmitted transcribed letters between the defendants, which the prosecution used as evidence of a conspiracy among them. Several of Douglas’ former girlfriends testified at the trial that he acted not just as an informer, but also as a catalyst and agent provocateur for the group’s plans.

There were minor convictions for a few of the defendants, based on smuggling mail into the prison; most of those were overturned on appeal.

The trial gained some notoriety for the use of scientific jury selection – use of demographic factors to identify unfavourable jurors – to keep the defendants from being convicted.

1991 – Gulf War: An act of the U.S. Congress authorises the use of military force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait.

1998 – Nineteen European Nations agree to forbid human cloning. Human cloning is the creation of a genetically identical copy of a human being, human cell, or human tissue. Although the possibility of cloning human beings has been the subject of speculation for much of the twentieth century, scientists and policy makers began to take the prospect seriously in the 1960’s. Nobel Prize winning geneticist Joshua Lederberg advocated for cloning and genetic engineering in a seminal article in the American Naturalist in 1966 and again, the following year, in the Washington Post. He sparked a debate with conservative bioethicist Leon Kass, who wrote at the time that “the programmed reproduction of man will, in fact, dehumanise him.” Another Nobel Laureate, James Watson, publicised the potential and the perils of cloning in his Atlantic Monthly essay, “Moving Toward the Clonal Man,” in 1971.

Human cloning also gained a foothold in popular culture, starting in the 1970’s. Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock, David Rorvik’s In His Image: Toward Cloning of a Man, Woody Allen’s film “Sleeper” and the The Boys from Brazil all helped to make the general public aware of the ethical issues surrounding human cloning.

Ethical implications
The cloning of human beings is highly controversial. Advocates of human therapeutic cloning believe the practice could provide genetically identical cells for regenerative medicine, and tissues and organs for transplantation. Such cells, tissues, and organs would neither trigger an immune response nor require the use of immunosuppressive drugs. Both basic research and therapeutic development for serious diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as improvements in burn treatment and reconstructive and cosmetic surgery, are areas that might benefit from such new technology. New York University bioethicist Jacob M. Appel has argued that “children cloned for therapeutic purposes” such as “to donate bone marrow to a sibling with leukaemia” might someday be viewed as heroes.

Proponents claim that human reproductive cloning also would produce benefits. Severino Antinori and Panos Zavos hope to create a fertility treatment that allows parents who are both infertile to have children with at least some of their DNA in their offspring.

Some scientists, including Dr. Richard Seed, suggest that human cloning might obviate the human ageing process. How this might work is not entirely clear since the brain or identity would have to be transferred to a cloned body. Dr. Preston Estep has suggested the terms “replacement cloning” to describe the generation of a clone of a previously living person, and “persistence cloning” to descregligible SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) one of the considered options to repair the cell depletion related to cellular senescence is to grow replacement tissues from stem cells harvested from a cloned embryo.

Opponents of human cloning argue that the process will likely lead to severely disabled children. For example, bioethicist Thomas Murray of the Hastings Centre argues that “it is absolutely inevitable that groups are going to try to clone a human being. But they are going to create a lot of dead and dying babies along the way.”

There were, as of December 2008, no documented cases of a living human being produced through human cloning.  However, the most successful (though inefficient) common cloning technique in non-human mammals is the process by which Dolly the sheep was produced. It is also the technique used by Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), the first company to successfully clone early human embryos that stopped at the six cell stage. The process is as follows: an egg cell taken from a donor has its cytoplasm removed. Another cell with the genetic material to be cloned is fused with the original egg cell, transferring its cell nucleus to the enucleated donor egg. vIn theory, this process, known as somatic cell nuclear transfer, could be applied to human beings.

ACT also reported its attempts to clone stem cell lines by parthenogenesis, where an unfertilised egg cell is induced to divide and grow as if it were fertilised, but only incomplete blastocysts resulted. Even if it were practical with mammals, this technique could work only with females. Discussion of human cloning generally assumes the use of somatic cell nuclear transfer, rather than parthenogenesis.

In January, 2008, Wood and Andrew French, Stemagen’s chief scientific officer in California, announced that they successfully created the first 5 mature human embryos using DNA from adult skin cells, aiming to provide a less-controversial source of viable embryonic stem cells. Dr. Samuel Wood and a colleague donated skin cells, and DNA from those cells was transferred to human eggs. It is not clear if the embryos produced would have been capable of further development, but Dr. Wood stated that if that were possible, using the technology for reproductive cloning would be both unethical and illegal. The 5 cloned embryos, created in Stemagen Corporation lab, in La Jolla, were later destroyed.

The current law on human cloning
U.N.
On December 12, 2001 the United Nations General Assembly began elaborating an international convention against the reproductive cloning of human beings. Lawrence S. B. Goldstein, college professor of cellular and molecular medicine at the University of California at San Diego, claims that the United States, unable to pass a national law, forced Costa Rica to start this debate in the UN over the international cloning ban. Unable to reach a consensus on a binding convention, in March 2005 a non-binding United Nations Declaration on Human Cloning was finally adopted.
Australia:  Australia had prohibited human cloning, though as of December 2006, a bill legalising therapeutic cloning and the creation of human embryos for stem cell research passed the House of Representatives. Within certain regulatory limits, and subject to the effect of state legislation, therapeutic cloning is now legal in some parts of Australia.
European Union:   The European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine prohibits human cloning in one of its additional protocols, but this protocol has been ratified only by Greece, Spain and Portugal. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union explicitly prohibits reproductive human cloning, though the Charter currently carries no legal standing. The proposed Treaty of Lisbon would, if ratified, make the charter legally binding for the institutions of the European Union.
U.S.   In 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2007 the U.S. House of Representatives voted whether to ban all human cloning, both reproductive and therapeutic. Each time, divisions in the Senate over therapeutic cloning prevented either competing proposal (a ban on both forms or reproductive cloning only) from passing. Some American states ban both forms of cloning, while some others outlaw only reproductive cloning.

Current regulations prohibit federal funding for research into human cloning, which effectively prevents such research from occurring in public institutions and private institutions such as universities which receive federal funding. However, there are currently no federal laws in the United States which ban cloning completely, and any such laws would raise difficult Constitutional questions similar to the issues raised by abortion.
U.K.  The British government introduced legislation in order to allow licensed therapeutic cloning in a debate in January 14, 2001 in an amendment to the Human Fertilization and Embryology Act 1990. However on November 15, 2001 a pro-life group won a High Court legal challenge that effectively left cloning unregulated in the UK. Their hope was that Parliament would fill this gap by passing prohibitive legislation. The government was quick to pass legislation prohibiting reproductive cloning Human Reproductive Cloning Act 2001. The remaining gap with regard to therapeutic cloning was closed when the appeals courts reversed the previous decision of the High Court.

The first licence was granted on August 11, 2004 to researchers at the University of Newcastle to allow them to investigate treatments for diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Religious objections:   The Roman Catholic Church, under the papacy of Benedict XVI, has condemned the practice of human cloning, in the magisterial instruction Dignitas Personae, stating that it represents a grave offence to the dignity of that person as well as to the fundamental equality of all people.

“Variations and voids:  The Regulation of Human Cloning around the world”  – an academic article by S.Pattinson and T. Caulfield.

2004 – The world’s largest ocean liner, RMS Queen Mary 2, makes its maiden voyage.
2005 – Deep Impact (space mission) launches from Cape Canaveral on a Delta 2 rocket.
2006 – The foreign ministers of the United Kingdom, France, and Germany declare that negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program have reached a dead-end and recommend that Iran be referred to the United Nations Security Council.

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Born on this Day

1904 – Fred McDowell, American blues musician (d. 1972)

1925 – Scottie MacGregor, American actress best-known for her comic performance as Harriet Oleson from 1974 to 1983 on the NBC television series Little House on the Prairie.

1926 – Ray Price, American singer. Some of his more famous songs include “Release Me”, “Crazy Arms”, “Heartaches by the Number”, “City Lights”, “My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You”, “For the Good Times”, “I Won’t Mention It Again”, “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me”, and “Danny Boy.” He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996.

1932 – Des O’Connor, British television presenter

1933 – Michael Aspel, English broadcaster

1944 – Joe Frazier, American boxer

1945 – Maggie Bell, Scottish singer (Stone the Crows)

1946 – Cynthia Robinson, American musician (Sly & the Family Stone)

1948 – Anthony Andrews, English actor

1951 – Kirstie Alley, American actress

1957 – John Lasseter, Academy Award-winning American animator and the chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. He is also currently the Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering

1974 – Melanie Chisholm, British singer – best known as one of the five members of the pioneering pop group Spice Girls, where she was nicknamed “Sporty Spice”

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Died on this Day and Remembered here

1897 – Isaac Pitman, British inventor (Pitman Shorthand) (b. 1813)

1960 – Nevil Shute, English writer (b. 1899)

1976 – Agatha Christie, English writer (b. 1890)

2003 – Maurice Gibb, British singer, songwriter, and musician (Bee Gees) (b. 1949

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PLAYTIME BELL RINGS!

dinger dinger dinger ding!

These are the Jokes folks!

(a bunch of one-liners for you . . . )

I just bought underwater headphones and it’s made me loads faster. Do you know how motivating it is swimming to the theme song from Jaws? I mean my anxiety is through the roof but record times.
🙂

Red sky at night: shepherd’s delight. Blue sky at night: day
🤗
It all starts innocently, mixing chocolate and Rice Krispies, but before you know it you’re adding raisins and marshmallows – it’s a rocky road.
😀
The anti-ageing advert that I would like to see is a baby covered in cream saying, ‘Aah, I’ve used too much.’
😁
My friend said she was giving up drinking from Monday to Friday. I’m just worried she’s going to dehydrate
🤣
Jokes about white sugar are rare. Jokes about brown sugar, Demerara.
😆
My sister had a baby and they took a while to name her and I told her to  ‘Hurry up!’.  I didn’t want my niece to grow up to be one of these kids you hear about on the news where it says, ‘The 17 year old defendant, who hasn’t been named’.  
😅

I went to Waterstones the book store and asked the store assistant for a book about turtles,  she said ‘hardback?’  I said  ‘yes and with little heads”

😝
and finally . . . 
If anyone knows how to fix some broken hinges,  my door’s always open.   😂
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Thought for the Day

Too often I hear people say that in their lives they would like more time to just sit and think and enjoy.

We don’t practice simply enjoying ‘nothing’, do we?  It’s something that concerns me a lot …  because if we don’t do it when we are younger, we can be left not knowing how to do it in later life.

Part of the problem is our work ethic.  For some reason, we feel we must justify our existence by always being busy and useful.  Everything we do must have a purpose and we must constantly live with one eye on what we shall be doing tomorrow.  The old month by month tyranny of the calendar was replaced by the daily tyranny of the Filofax, which is now supplemented with the hourly tyranny of e-mail/twitter/whats-ap/skype/Facebook (other social media(s) are available), is really not doing any of us any favours

According to the book of Genesis, although human beings are ‘made’ to be able to work, more wonderful than work is the enjoyment of the ‘Sabbath’.  Sunday.  The day when even God himself rested in order to savour what he has made!  

We seem to have lost the capacity for that sort of enjoyment.  We seem to have forgotten how to just sit and do nothing but think about what we’ve achieved.  What have we done in our lives that is pleasing to us.  We seem to have forgotten how to do this and we need more than anything to recover it.  But how?

In the Christian Gospel, we are told to that to enter the Kingdom of God we must become as little children,  a reference not to their supposed innocence, but their capacity for self-forgetfulness in play.  They do something because it is fun and worthwhile in itself and not because it has some further justification.  This is what we tend to lose in our busy lives where everything must be done for a purpose.  If we are to reach an old age that we can enjoy and feel good about, we need to regain the capacity for enjoyment long before we are old.  Perhaps then, in our evening walk, we shall find ourselves enjoying God’s company in the cool of the day, and finding ourselves happy and fulfilled.

We don’t need to work from morning till night.  We need to work, rest, and play.  That’s what this whole life/existence thing was designed for.  That’s what we are meant to do.  That’s the whole point of it all.

Take a little time today to do nothing but sit.  Sit with your God, if you believe, or just sit with life if you don’t.  Spend a little time doing something that gives you joy.  Even if it’s going out, buying a children’s colouring book and crayons and colouring to your heart’s content.  There would be less illness . . .   less worry  . . .  less tension,  if only people allowed themselves to let their inner child loose once in a while.

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Thank you so much for coming and sharing a coffee moment with me.  I love being in your company.

I wish you a really great day.  Smile as much as you can.  Take time to have a little fun and laughs somewhere along the way.  You’ll feel better for it.  I know you will.  And remember …. to stop now and again and just allow yourself to ‘be’.  Stop doing.  Stop talking.  Stop thinking.  Just be.  Give yourself a minute or two away from your daily life, and instead give yourself a moment of a life of doing nothing – not even thinking.  Just BE.

Have a wonderful day, and a truly fabulous weekend.  Be good to yourself, and …  may your God go with you.

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The Friday Post ~ 1st December 2017

Well it’s here.  That day we were thinking was still miles away and we had plenty of time to do our Christmas shopping …. well today is the first day of December and Christmas day is just 25 days away.  Or … since you can’t actually count Christmas day itself,  24 days away.

But … if you discount today (1st December), because, well, it’s maybe not fair to include today since some of you reading right now will perhaps have just come home from a day at work, so let’s discount today too, – that makes it 23 merry Days, in which to buy the perfect presents for all those people you need to buy for,  and get them home, wrapped beautifully and labelled up, ready to give.  There.  23 days.  That’s ok, isn’t it?

So anyhoo … shall we get on with your Edumacation?  I know it’s Christmas soon, but you still need to be educationamalised so that you can come out with interesting facts at the works ‘do’, or just impress the boss with your magnificent intelligence.

On this Day in History

1824 – U.S. presidential election, Since no candidate received a majority of the total electoral college votes in the election, the United States House of Representatives is given the task to decide the winner (as stipulated by the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution).

1913 – The Ford Motor Company introduces the first moving assembly line.
1919 – Lady Astor becomes first female member of the British Parliament to take her seat (she had been elected to that position on November 28).

1952 – The New York Daily News reports the first successful sexual reassignment operation. 

1958 – The Our Lady of the Angels School Fire in Chicago, Illinois kills 92 children and three nuns.

1

The Our Lady of the Angels School Fire broke out shortly before classes were to be dismissed on December 1, 1958, at the foot of a stairway in the Our Lady of the Angels School in Chicago, Illinois.  The elementary and middle school was operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.  A total of 92 pupils and 3 nuns lost their lives when smoke, heat, and fire cut off their normal means of escape through corridors and stairways.  Many perished while jumping from second-floor windows (which were as high as a third floor would be on level ground).  Another 100 were seriously injured.

The disaster led to major improvements in standards for school design and fire safety codes.

1960 – Paul McCartney and Pete Best arrested then deported from Hamburg, Germany for accusation of attempted arson. Former Beatles drummer Pete Best told Absolute Radio that he and Sir Paul had tried to use the condoms for extra lighting.

“We pinned them on the wall and they spluttered. Let’s get it clear, they weren’t used,”  he said. “We were charged with trying to burn our van down.”

Best said the pair were returned to the UK on suspicion of arson.

1964 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his top-ranking advisers meet to discuss plans to bomb North Vietnam.

1969 – Vietnam War: The first draft lottery in the United States is held since World War II. On December 1, 1969, the Selective Service System of the United States held a lottery to determine the order of draft (induction) into the U.S. Army for the Vietnam War.

Method
The days of the year, represented by the numbers from 1 to 366 (including Leap Day), were written on slips of paper and the slips were placed in plastic capsules. The capsules were mixed in a shoebox and then dumped into a deep glass jar. Capsules were drawn from the jar one at a time.

The first day number drawn was 257 (September 14), so all registrants with that birthday were assigned lottery number 1. Men of draft age (those born between 1944 and 1950) whose birthday fell on the corresponding day of the year would all be drafted at the same time. The highest draft number called from the 1969 lottery was number 195 (September 24).

A secondary lottery was also held on the same day, to construct a random permutation of the 26 letters of the alphabet. For men born on a given day, the order of induction was determined by the rank of the first letters of their last, first, and middle names.

The lottery was conducted again in 1970 (for those born in 1951), 1971 (1952) and 1972 (1953), although the 1972 lottery went unused as the draft itself was suspended in 1973.  Lotteries were also conducted in 1973, 1974 and 1975 although the assigned numbers went unused.

1973 – Papua New Guinea gains self-government from Australia.
1974 – TWA Flight 514, a Boeing 727, crashes northwest of Dulles International Airport killing all 92 people on-board.
1974 – Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 6231, crashes northwest of John F. Kennedy International Airport.

1981 – A Yugoslavian Inex Adria Aviopromet DC-9 crashes in Corsica killing all 180 people on-board.

1982 – At the University of Utah, Barney Clark becomes the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart.

1990 – Channel Tunnel sections started from the United Kingdom and France meet 40 meters beneath the seabed.

2001 – Captain Bill Compton brings Trans World Airlines Flight 220, an MD-83, into St. Louis International Airport bringing to an end 76 years of TWA operations following TWA’s purchase by American Airlines.

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Born on this Day

1761 – Marie Tussaud, French creator of wax sculptures (Madame Tussaud’s) (d. 1850)

1913 – Mary Martin, American actor and singer (d. 1990)

1932 – Matt Monro, English singer (d. 1985)

1935 – Woody Allen, American film director, actor, and comedian

1940 – Richard Pryor, American actor, comedian (d. 2005)

1944 – John Densmore, American drummer (The Doors)

1945 – Bette Midler, American actress and singer

1946 – Gilbert O’Sullivan, Irish singer

1958 – Charlene Tilton, American actress

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Thought for the Day

Christmas is coming and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.  We know it’s coming because the lights are already lit-up in the shops.  The trees are decorated and the Advent Calendars all have one door open.

The prophets of anxiety (in the newspapers and on TV) are predicting a difficult time for the shoppers and retailers of our over-stretched, debt-ridden lands.

Some of us feel the imminence of Christmas in the sensations of excitement and dread:  of wishing it would never end … and wanting it to be over with now.  Of the need to be at home, with family and friends – and the desire to escape it all and get as far away as possible.

The Grinch, in Dr. Seuss says:  “Christmas!  It’s practically here!”  …  Then he growled with his fingers nervously drumming.  “I must find a way to keep Christmas from coming!”

Advent means the arrival  – or coming  –  of an important person or thing.  But break it down into its compound words:  ‘ad’  and  ‘vent’  and it looks alarmingly like something to do with advertising and windows.  It sounds like a big commercial wind!  Which of course it is, and it has been, and probably always will be.  Which is why Grinch-like, seasonal rants about the commercial aspect of Christmas will do nothing to change it.

Priests asking us not to throw out the baby Jesus with the bath water should save their breath.  If they want us to question anything at Christmas it should be the baby:  Do we need the babyDo we want the babyWhat is this baby for?  It’s easy to see that Christmas  “doesn’t come from a store;  easy to guess it means a little bit more” [the Grinch again] .  But the question for all of us is:  What???

Isaiah, a prophet who lived before Christ, framed our need in this way:  “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down”.  There was an ache for a saviour long before one appeared.  As to what this saviour is for – Isaiah put it in these startling terms:  …. “… for those living in darkness, a light has come.”  and later …  “…he will be pierced for our transgressions and by his wounds we are healed”.

For Isaiah it took 600 years and a thousand advent calendar windows before the double doors opened on the baby in the manger he predicted would be  “the Saviour of the World”.  That’s a kind of patience – a kind of expectation and waiting – which is hard to grasp.  In theory, for us,  the waiting is over.  The baby – whether we like it or not, is here.  God is with us.

As the Grinch discovered, we can’t stop Christmas from coming:  “Somehow or other, it came just the same”.  The challenge for us this advent is finding the space to think about why it came at all in the first place.   And that applies to those who believe, and those who don’t.

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Well.  I’m all puffed out now and have talked so much that my throat is sore!  I think it must be coffee time, for I need lubrication to the vocal chords.

This last week for me has been another one of crafting up a storm,  but making things I can’t share because I made some things for some lovely people who come and read my blog….  goodness knows why they come and read it. Kindness is the first thing that springs to mind.  lol.

But … I can start on other things now, so can share and will be doing so.  HURRAH!

In the meantime …  I want you to be good.  Don’t eat too many sweets.  Not too much chocolate.  And don’t do that thing which you’re Mother told you would make you blind.  Oh … and don’t stick peas up your nose.

That last one … I should perhaps explain…  Apparently – this was said by an Irish mother many, many moons ago.

She had to go out but had no one to look after her large brood of children, so she gathered them all together and told the three eldest that they were going to be ‘in charge’ for the next half an hour while she was out of the house.  She put her coat and hat on, gathered up her shopping bag and handbag, and put her hand on the door knob …. but paused and looked at them all in a very stern, Irish mother way, saying:  “Be good.  Don’t be getting yourselves into trouble.  Don’t be making too much noise – we don’t want someone calling the police!  And …  DON’T STICK PEAS UP YOUR NOSE!”  …  and with that she left.

20 minutes later she was back in the house to find a row of children all sat upon the work tops in the kitchen, with the three eldest children trying to do something which the one child was crying about.  Upon taking in the scene she saw that one of the eldest had his arms tightly wound around a child, so holding the childs arms down.  The second eldest had the child’s head in her hands and was tipping the childs head backwards.  And the eldest of the children had the mothers tweezers from her dressing table and was attempting to shove them up the little childs nose.

“What the divil are you doing to that child?!!”  She yelled.  “… and why they all on the kitchen tops?”

The three eldest children explained . . .  there had been no trouble until they found out that the youngsters had popped the pea pods on the kitchen table, and pushed peas up their noses and couldn’t get them down again.

“Why the dickens did you do that?”  she demanded to know, looking at them very sternly  …..

“Because you told us not to!” came a crying reply.

Hence I say to you ….  “Be good.  Don’t be getting yourselves into trouble.  Don’t be making too much noise – we don’t want someone calling the police!  And …  DON’T STICK PEAS UP YOUR NOSE!” 

Have a wickedly wonderful Friday, and a truly fabulous weekend.  May the force be with you.

Sending love and squidges ~

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The Friday Post

Hap-pee Friday!  Where has this week gone?  How very dare it rush past in a flash!  If it’s going to come and visit, then a week should surely hang around long enough for tea and cakes!  I’m coming to a conclusion that weeks have no manners what-so-ever.  The arrive, don’t wipe their feet, don’t take their coats off, and they leave without saying a word, don’t thank you for opening your home to them and don’t even say goodbye.  No … they just up and off, leaving us with yet another Friday.  How VERY dare it!

Anyhoo …  before I get into edumacationing you, I’ve learned some fun things this week and I thought you might like me to share them with you:

I’ve learnt:

  • Lions can get hair-balls the size of footballs.  Thankfully I don’t have to clean those off my carpet.
  • The letter Q was illegal in Turkey for 85 years.
  • Wherever a leaf is in the world, its internal temperature is always 21oC.
  • A popular way to cure impotence in the 14th century was to wear your trousers on your head for 24 hours.

You couldn’t make it up, could you?  LOL.

Right .. enough of this giggling.  Let’s get you into the classroom and start your expensive edumacation!

On This Day in History

1558 – Elizabethan era begins: Queen Mary I of England, – England’s first queen (also known as ‘Bloody Mary’), dies and is succeeded by her half-sister Elizabeth I of England. Elizabeth I  (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was Queen of England and Queen of Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death.  Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess,  Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty.  The daughter of Henry VIII, she was born a princess, but her mother, Anne Boleyn, was executed three years after her birth, and Elizabeth was declared illegitimate. Her brother, Edward VI, cut her out of the succession. His will, however, was set aside, and in 1558 Elizabeth succeeded her half-sister, the Catholic Mary, during whose reign she had been imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels.

1603 – English explorer, writer and courtier Sir Walter Raleigh goes on trial. Falsely accused of treason, he had been offered a large sum of money by Lord Cobham, a critic of England’s King James I, to make peace with the Spanish and put Arabella Stuart, James’s cousin, on the throne. Raleigh claimed he turned down the offer, but Lord Cobham told his accusers that Raleigh was involved in the plot. Sir Walter Raleigh or Ralegh (c. 1552 – 29 October 1618), was a famed English writer, poet, soldier, courtier and explorer.

Raleigh was born to a Protestant family in Devon, the son of Walter Raleigh and Catherine Champernowne. Little is known for certain of his early life, though he spent some time in Ireland, in Killua Castle, Clonmellon, County Westmeath, taking part in the suppression of rebellions and participating in two infamous massacres at Rathlin Island and Smerwick, later becoming a landlord of lands confiscated from the Irish. He rose rapidly in Queen Elizabeth I’s favour, being knighted in 1585, and was involved in the early English colonisation of the New World in Virginia under a royal patent. In 1591, he secretly married Elizabeth Throckmorton, one of the Queen’s ladies-in-waiting, without requesting the Queen’s permission, for which he and his wife were sent to the Tower of London. After his release, they retired to his estate at Sherborne, Dorset.

In 1594, Raleigh heard of a “City of Gold” in South America and sailed to find it, publishing an exaggerated account of his experiences in a book that contributed to the legend of El Dorado.  After Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, Raleigh was again imprisoned in the Tower, this time for allegedly being involved in the Main Plot against King James I who was not favourably disposed toward him.  In 1616, however, he was released in order to conduct a second expedition in search of El Dorado.  This was unsuccessful and the Spanish outpost at San Thomé was ransacked by men under his command.  After his return to England he was arrested and after a show trial held mainly to appease the Spanish, he was beheaded at Whitehall.

1800 – The United States Congress holds its first session in Washington, D.C.
1820 – Captain Nathaniel Palmer becomes the first American to see Antarctica (the Palmer Peninsula was later named after him).
1827 – The Delta Phi fraternity, America’s oldest continuous social fraternity, was founded at Union College in Schenectady, New York.
1855 – David Livingstone becomes the first European to see Victoria Falls in what is now present-day Zambia-Zimbabwe.
1869 – England’s James Moore won the first cycle road race, an 83 miles race from Paris to Rouen.
1880 – The first three women to graduate in Britain received their Bachelor of Arts degrees at London University.
1882 – The Royal Astronomer witnessed an unidentified flying object from the Greenwich Observatory. He described it as a circular object, glowing bright green.

1903 – The Russian Social Democratic Labor Party splits into two groups; the Bolsheviks (Russian for “majority”) and Mensheviks (Russian for “minority”).

1911 – The Omega Psi Phi fraternity, the first African-American fraternity at a historically black college or university, is founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

1922 – Britain elected its first Communist Member of Parliament, J T Walton-Newbold standing for Motherwell, Scotland. He eventually joined the Labour Party.

1945 – Britain’s H J Wilson of the RAF set a New world air speed record 606 mph.

1950 – Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, was enthroned as Tibet’s head of state at the age of fifteen. Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (born Lhamo Döndrub is the 14th Dalai Lama. He is the head of the Tibetan government-in-exile based in Dharamshala, India. Tibetans traditionally believe him to be the reincarnation of his predecessors.

The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader revered among Tibetans. The most influential figure of the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, he has considerable influence over the other sects of Tibetan Buddhism. The Chinese government, whose occupation of Tibet in 1959 forced him into exile, regards him as the symbol of an outmoded theocratic system.

Tenzin Gyatso was born fifth of 16 children to a farming family in the village of Taktser, Qinghai province, China. His first language was the regional Amdo dialect.

He was proclaimed the tulku or rebirth of the thirteenth Dalai Lama at the age of two. At the age of fifteen, on 17 November 1950, one month after the Chinese army’s invasion of Tibet, he was formally enthroned as Dalai Lama. He thus became the country’s most important spiritual leader and political ruler.

In 1959 the Dalai Lama fled through the mountains to India following a failed uprising and the effective collapse of the Tibetan resistance movement. He had at first, in 1951, ratified under military pressure a Seventeen Point Agreement to coexist alongside China. In India he set up a Tibetan government-in-exile. Among the 80,000 or so exiles that followed him Tenzin Gyatso strives to preserve traditional Tibetan education and culture.

A noted public speaker worldwide,Tenzin Gyatso is often described as charismatic. He is the first Dalai Lama to travel to the West, where he seeks to spread Buddhist teachings and to promote ethics and interfaith harmony. In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.. He was given honorary Canadian citizenship in 2006, and was awarded the United States Congressional Gold Medal on 17 October 2007.

1953 – The remaining human inhabitants of the Blasket Islands, Kerry, Ireland are evacuated to the mainland. The Blasket Islands (Na Blascaodaí in Irish – etymology uncertain: it may come from the Norse word “brasker”, meaning “a dangerous place”) are a group of islands off the west coast of Ireland, forming part of County Kerry.

Map

They were inhabited until 1953 by a completely Irish-speaking population. The inhabitants were evacuated to the mainland on 17 November 1953. Many of the descendants currently live in Springfield, Massachusetts and some former residents still live on the Dingle peninsula, within sight of their former home.

Ireland2

The islanders were the subject of much anthropological and linguistic study around the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries and, thanks partly to outside encouragement, a number of books were written by islanders that record much of the islands’ traditions and way of life. These include An tOileánach (The Islandman) by Tomás Ó Criomhthain, Peig by Peig Sayers and Fiche Blian ag Fás (Twenty Years A-Growing) by Muiris Ó Súilleabháin.

Cathedral Rocks at Blasket Islands

Cathedral Rocks at Blasket Islands

The Blasket Islands have been called Next Parish America, a term popular in the United States.

1955 – Anglesey became the first authority in Britain to introduce fluoride into the water supply.
1959 – Two Scottish airports, Prestwick and Renfrew, became the first to offer duty-free goods in Britain. London Heathrow followed soon after.

1964 – Britain said that it was banning all arms exports to South Africa.

1967 – Vietnam War: Acting on optimistic reports he was given on November 13, US President Lyndon B. Johnson tells his nation that, while much remained to be done, “We are inflicting greater losses than we’re taking…We are making progress.”
1968 – NBC outraged football fans by cutting away from the final minutes of a game to air a TV special, “Heidi,” on schedule. Viewers were deprived of seeing the Oakland Raiders come from behind to beat the New York Jets 43-32.
1969 – Cold War: Negotiators from the Soviet Union and the United States meet in Helsinki to begin SALT I negotiations aimed at limiting the number of strategic weapons on both sides.

1970 – Vietnam War: Lieutenant William Calley goes on trial for the My Lai massacre. William Laws Calley, Jr. (born June 8, 1943, in Miami, Florida) is a convicted American war criminal. He is the U.S. Army officer found guilty of ordering the My Lai Massacre on March 16, 1968, during the Vietnam War.

Of the 26 officers and soldiers initially charged for their part in the My Lai Massacre or the subsequent cover-up, only Calley would be convicted. He was seen by some as a scapegoat used by the U.S. Army for its failure to instill morale and discipline in its troops and officers. Others, knowing nothing about his education or background, sought to excuse his actions because of his allegedly low intelligence and cultural background. Many saw My Lai as a direct result of the military’s attrition strategy with its emphasis on “body counts” and “kill ratios.”

1970 – Luna program: The Soviet Union lands Lunokhod 1 on Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains) on the Moon. This is the first roving remote-controlled robot to land on another world and was released by the orbiting Luna 17 spacecraft.
1970 – Douglas Engelbart receives the patent for the first computer mouse.

1973 – Watergate scandal: In Orlando, Florida, US President Richard Nixon tells 400 Associated Press managing editors “I am not a crook”.

The Watergate scandals were a series of political scandals during the presidency of Richard Nixon that resulted in the indictment of several of Nixon’s closest advisors and ultimately his resignation on August 9, 1974.

The scandals began with the arrest of five men for breaking and entering into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Office complex in Washington, D.C. on June 17, 1972. Investigations conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and later by the Senate Watergate Committee, House Judiciary Committee and the press revealed that this burglary was one of many illegal activities authorized and carried out by Nixon’s staff and loyalists. They also revealed the immense scope of crimes and abuses, which included campaign fraud, political espionage and sabotage, illegal break-ins, improper tax audits, illegal wiretapping on a massive scale, and a secret slush fund laundered in Mexico to pay those who conducted these operations. This secret fund was also used as hush money to buy silence of the seven men who were indicted for the June 17 break-in.

Nixon and his staff conspired to cover up the break-in as early as six days after it occurred. After two years of mounting evidence against the President and his staff, which included former staff members testifying against them in a Senate investigation, it was revealed that Nixon had a tape recording system in his offices and that he had recorded many conversations. Recordings from these tapes revealed that he had obstructed justice and attempted to cover up the break-in. This recorded conversation later became known as the Smoking Gun. After a series of court battles, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled in United States v. Nixon that the President had to hand over the tapes; he ultimately complied.

With certainty of an impeachment in the House of Representatives and of a conviction in the Senate, Nixon resigned ten days later, becoming the only US President to have resigned from office. His successor, Gerald Ford, would issue a controversial pardon for any federal crimes Nixon may have committed while in office.  Click here for the link to the New York Times story

1989 – Riot police arrest hundreds of people taking part in the biggest show of public dissent in Czechoslovakia for 20 years.
BBC News complete with Video footage of the news from that day

2000 – A catastrophic landslide in Log pod Mangartom, Slovenia, kills 7, and causes millions of SLT (Slovenian Tolar – the currency of Slovenia) of damage. It is one of the worst catastrophes in Slovenia in the past 100 years.
2003 – An ex-soldier who served in the Gulf War was found guilty of at least one of the Washington sniper killings in October the previous year.
BBC News story complete with Audio from the court room
2003 – Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger was sworn in as the 38th governor of California.
2004 – Kmart Corp. announced it was buying Sears, Roebuck and Co. for $11 billion USD and naming the newly merged company Sears Holdings Corporation.

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Born on this Day

1887 – Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, English soldier who was a painstaking planner, which contributed to his most successful battle in North Africa when he broke through Rommel’s lines during the Second World War. ‘Monty’ was also a superb communicator, which assured his popularity with his men.

1923 – Mike Garcia, American baseball player (d. 1986)

1925 – Rock Hudson, American actor (d. 1985)

1937 – Peter Cook, British comedian (d. 1995)

1934 – Fenella Fielding, English actress

1942 – Martin Scorsese, American film director

1943 – Lauren Hutton, American actress

1944 – Danny DeVito, American actor

1951 – Dean Paul Martin, American singer and actor (d. 1987)

1960 – Jonathan Ross, British presenter

1960 – RuPaul, American drag entertainer

1980 – Isaac Hanson, American musician (Hanson)

1981 – Sarah Harding, English singer (Girls Aloud)

 

Thought for the Day

Isn’t it funny (?) how people go searching for happiness, travelling the world, or buying things that they feel will make them happy . . . and yet  . . . their happiness is there all the time.  They just have to sit for a moment and go inside themselves and look at what they have.

Try it.  When you are done reading this, close your eyes and sit quite still for a moment and ‘see’ all the people you love surrounding you.  See all the blessings you have in your life:

  • The place where you live
  • Your family and friends
  • Your pet(s)
  • Your job
  • Your television;  your computer;  your kitchen equipment which enables you to make a drink and cook food to eat.

Think about these things and more.  And then … imagine that someone or something suddenly takes it all away from you.  Everything – gone.  Forever.  Washed away by some sort of hurricane.

How would you feel?  What would the feeling be like to be totally all alone in the world with no one who know you.  No one who YOU know.  No one to talk with except strangers in the street who don’t know you and who are rushing past you every day, without giving you a thought or care.

Now imagine that I come in and one by one, I give everything and everyone back to you.  One by one, the people you love and who love you, walk in through a door and back into your life.

Bit by bit I give you back your home, your kitchen equipment, your clothes … everything.  All those things that you take for granted, every day in your life.

Your family, friends, pets, your car …  everything.  All suddenly back.  Just when you thought you wouldn’t ever see them ever again …  there they are.

Can you get an idea of how that would feel?

Now …  why are you looking for happiness in things that you don’t have …  when your happiness is right there all the time.

Stop searching for your happiness.  You already have it.  All you have to do is ‘see’ it.  Recognise it.  It’s all around you.  Right there.  Right now!

Wishing you a great, and thoroughly blessed day.

Have a wonderful weekend.  Sending you squidges and love ~

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The Friday Post ~ 27th October 2017

HAAA PEE FRI-Daaaay!

Now if that didn’t wake you up, nothing will! 

As we bring another week to a close, I’ve come to educationamalise you with some useless  useful information that you can impress your friends with.  If you can come out with three of the things you are about to learn, I think you’ll definitely go up in their estimation and they’ll think you’re really Edumacationed.  Perfick.

So … shall we crack on?  Ready?  Fasten your seat-belts, we’re going in!

Friday Edumacation

On this Day in History

312 – Constantine the Great is said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross. Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus, commonly known as Constantine I, Constantine the Great, or Saint Constantine was Roman Emperor from 306, and the undisputed holder of that office from 324 to his death. Best known for being the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine reversed the persecutions of his predecessor, Diocletian, and issued (with his co-emperor Licinius) the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious toleration throughout the empire.

On the evening of October 27, with the armies preparing for battle, Constantine had a vision which lead him to fight under the protection of the Christian God. The details of that vision, however, differ between the sources reporting it. It is believed that the sign of the cross appeared and Constantine heard “In this sign, you shall conquer” in Greek.

Lactantius (an early Christian author) states that, in the night before the battle, Constantine was commanded in a dream to “delineate the heavenly sign on the shields of his soldiers”. He obeyed and marked the shields with a sign “denoting Christ”.  Lactantius describes that sign as a “staurogram”, or a Latin cross with its upper end rounded in a P-like fashion.

1662 – Charles II of England sold the coastal town of Dunkirk to King Louis XIV of France.

1880 – Theodore Roosevelt married Alice Lee.

1904 – The first underground New York City Subway line opens; the system becomes the biggest in United States, and one of the biggest in world.

1936 – Mrs Wallis Simpson filed for divorce from her second husband Ernest, which would eventually allow her to marry King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, thus forcing his abdication from the throne.
1938 – Du Pont announced a name for its new synthetic yarn: nylon.

1952 – The BBC screened part one of the 26 part series ‘Victory At Sea’, Britain’s first TV documentary.
1954 – Benjamin O. Davis Jr. becomes the first African-American general in the United States Air Force.
1958 – First transmission of the BBC children’s television programme Blue Peter.

1962 – Major Rudolph Anderson of the United States Air Force became the only direct human casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis when his U-2 reconnaissance airplane was shot down in Cuba by a Soviet-supplied SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missile.

1964 – Ronald Reagan delivers a speech on behalf of Republican candidate for president, Barry Goldwater. The speech launched his political career and came to be known as “A Time for Choosing”.

A Time for Choosing, also known as “The Speech,” was presented on a number of speaking occasions during the 1964 U.S. presidential election campaign by future-president Ronald Reagan on behalf of Republican candidate Barry Goldwater.
Many versions of the speech exist, as it was altered during many stops, but two are best known:

• 1964 Republican National Convention – San Francisco, California – Given as a nomination speech for Goldwater.

• As part of a pre-recorded television program titled “Rendezvous with Destiny”, broadcast on October 27, 1964.

Following the speech, Ronald Reagan was asked to run for governor of California. To this day, this speech is considered one of the most effective ever made on behalf of a candidate. Reagan was later called the “great communicator” in recognition of his effective communication skills.

1967 – Britain passed the Abortion Act, allowing abortions to be performed legally for medical reasons. The Abortion Act 1967 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom to regulate abortion by registered practitioners, and the free provision of such medical practices through the National Health Service (NHS).

It was introduced by David Steel as a Private Member’s Bill, but was backed by the government, and after a heated debate and a free vote passed on 27 October 1967, coming into effect on 27 April 1968.

The act made abortion legal in the UK up to 28 weeks gestation. In 1990, the law was amended by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act: abortion became legal only up to 24 weeks except in cases where it was necessary to save the life of the woman, there was evidence of extreme fetal abnormality, or there was a grave risk of physical or mental injury to the woman.

As of 2005, abortions after 24 weeks were extremely rare, fewer than 200 a year, accounting for 0.1% of all abortions.  There are continual pushes to reduce this time limit greatly, but so far, no changes have been made.

The act does not extend to Northern Ireland. Abortion is illegal there unless the doctor acts “only to save the life of the mother”. The situation is the same as it was in England before the introduction of the Abortion Act. The Offences Against the Person Act 1861 and the Criminal Justice Act remain in full force.

1968 – In Great Britain, Police clashed with anti-war protesters as trouble flared in Grosvenor Square, London, after an estimated 6,000 marchers faced up to police outside the United States Embassy.
BBC News Report on the Day complete with Timeline of Events

1986 – The United Kingdom Government suddenly deregulates financial markets, leading to a total restructuring of the way in which they operate in the country, in an event now referred to as the Big Bang.

1992 – United States Navy radio man Allen R. Schindler, Jr. is brutally murdered by shipmates for being gay, precipitating first military, then national debate about gays in the military that resulted in the United States “Don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy.
1997 –  The 1997 mini-crash: Stock markets around the world crash because of fears of a global economic meltdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummets 554.26 points to 7,161.15. For the first time, the New York Stock Exchange activated their “circuit breakers” twice during the day eventually making the controversial move of closing the Exchange early.

Born on this Day

1782 – Niccolò Paganini, Italian violinist and composer (d. 1840)

1728 – Captain James Cook, English naval officer and one of the greatest navigators in history. His voyages in the Endeavour led to the European discovery of Australia, New Zealand and the Hawaiian Islands. Thanks to Cook’s understanding of diet, no member of the crew ever died of scurvy, the great killer on other voyages.

1811 – Isaac Singer, American inventor (d. 1875) made important improvements in the design of the sewing machine and was the founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company.

1854 – Sir William Smith, Scottish founder of the Boys’ Brigade (d. 1914)

1858 – Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1919)

1873 – Emily Post, American etiquette author (d. 1960)

1896 – Edith Brown, survivor of the Titanic (d. 1997)

1914 – Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet (d. 1953)

1939 – John Cleese, British actor and writer

1951 – K.K. Downing, English guitarist (Judas Priest)

1953 – Peter Firth, British actor

1957 – Glenn Hoddle, English footballer

1958 – Simon Le Bon, English singer (Duran Duran)

1978 – Vanessa-Mae, Singapore musician

1984 – Kelly Osbourne, English television personality and daughter of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne.

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Thought for the Day

Attitude.  The longer I live the more I realise the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude to me, is more important than facts.  More important than the past, education, money, circumstances, failure, success, that what other people think, or say, or do.

It’s more important than appearance,  giftedness or skill.  It will make or break a hobby;   a business;  a friendship;  a relationship;  a love;  a marriage;  a Church;  a home;  a nation.

The remarkable thing is that we have a choice, every day, regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.  We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way and sometimes the way they act is inappropriate.

We cannot change the inevitable – nothing I can do will stop the hands of time from turning my hair grey;  my body ageing;  a wrinkle appearing on my face;  getting older and developing the aches and pains that come with age …  but just because I have a pain, doesn’t mean I have to BE a pain!

We cannot change the fact that bad things will happen to good people.  A great deal of life happenings are beyond our control.

The one thing we can do though, is play on the one string we have … and that, is our attitude.

I’m convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it.  And so it is with you.  We are each in charge of our own attitude.

What attitude are you going to choose today?  And …  when you’ve chosen it,  remember – people will react to your attitude – so if they react badly, maybe it isn’t down to them, but down to you and your attitude.

Remember this, and if you find yourself continually getting what you don’t want . . .  maybe you need to change your attitude towards people, and towards your life in general.

If you keep doing what you’re doing – you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.​

PLAYTIME!!!

No edumacation facility is worth its weight unless it gives it’s pupils something to play with,  so …. here it comes:

Want to make a glass of water freeze instantly on command? What is this supernatural power and who can use it? Discover the secrets to Ice-bending … in real life.  Watch the video in the following link.  It will teach you all you want to know, and then you’ll REALLY be able to amaze friends and family, and they’ll all wonder how on earth you did it! (link will open in a new window for you):   My Science Academy

coffee cupI learnt this week that Potatoes have two more chromosomes than people, the same as gorillas!  And … that Rice has almost twice as many genes as human beings!  Not sure how this fit’s into the lives of people I know but there is a relative I would perhaps call a couch potato.  But … now I’m wondering if I’m paying them a compliment! LOL. 

Did you learn anything new this week?  Do share … you can edumacate me then!

I hope you have a truly fabulous Friday, and a remarkable weekend. 

Sending squidges ~

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The Friday Post – 13th October 2017

Today is … FRIDAY THE 13th.

The fear of Friday the 13th is so big that it has its own name.  It’s called friggatriskaidekaphobia – or triskaidekaphobia for short.

Friggatriskaidekaphobia comes from Frigg, the Norse goddess of wisdom after whom Friday is named, and the Greek words Triskaidekaphobia, meaning 13, and phobia, meaning fear.

Now Friday the 13th is not universally seen as a day of misery. For example, in Italy, Friday the 17th and not Friday the 13th is considered to be a day that brings bad luck.  In fact, the number 13 is thought to be a lucky number!

In many Spanish-speaking countries and in Greece, Tuesday the 13th is seen as a day of misfortune. And  ….   For a month to have a Friday the 13th, the month must begin on a Sunday.

OK, that’s enough of this Friday 13th silliness!  Get your notebooks ready, and put your chewing gum in the bin!  Edumacation coming up!

On this Day in History

1773The Whirlpool Galaxy is discovered by Charles Messier. The famous Whirlpool galaxy Messier 51 (M51, NGC 5194) is one of the most conspicuous, and probably the most well-known spiral galaxy in the sky.

The Whirlpool Galaxy

The Whirlpool Galaxy is an interacting grand-design spiral galaxy located at a distance of approximately 23 million light-years in the constellation Canes Venatici.  It is one of the most famous spiral galaxies in the sky.

The galaxy and its companion (NGC 5195) are easily observed by amateur astronomers, and the two galaxies may even be seen with binoculars. The Whirlpool Galaxy is also a popular target for professional astronomers, who study it to further understand galaxy structure (particularly structure associated with the spiral arms) and galaxy interactions.

M51 is visible through binoculars on a dark night, but with modern amateur telescopes this galaxy is truly a sight to behold. It is very forgiving on the instrument, when seen even through a humble 10 cm telescope the basic outlines of M51 and its companion are visible. Under dark skies, and with a moderate eyepiece through a 15 cm telescope, one can detect M51’s intrinsic spiral structure. With larger (>30 cm) instruments M51 is simply breathtaking. The various spiral bands are very obvious and several HII regions appear to be visible, and M51 can be seen to be attached to M51B. The shape of the X-formation in the nucleus has often been compared to the Christian cross.

1775 – The United States Continental Congress orders the establishment of the Continental Navy (later renamed the United States Navy).
1792 – In Washington, D.C., the cornerstone of the United States Executive Mansion (known as the White House since 1818) is laid.

1843 – In New York City, Henry Jones and 11 others found B’nai B’rith (the oldest Jewish service organization in the world).

membership_certificate_
The Independent Order of B’nai B’rith – Membership Certificate

The Independent Order of B’nai B’rith (IPA: /bəneɪ ‘brɪθ/; Hebrew: בני ברית, “Sons of the Covenant”) is the oldest continually operating Jewish service organization in the world. It was founded in New York City by Henry Jones and 11 others, on October 13, 1843.

The organization is engaged in a wide variety of community service and welfare activities, including the promotion of Jewish rights, assisting hospitals and victims of natural disasters, awarding scholarships to Jewish college students, and opposing anti-Semitism and racism through its Centre for Human Rights and Public Policy.

The organization’s main body is B’nai B’rith International, the entity that works with hundreds of countries around the world to increase the welfare of resident Jews.

1845A majority of voters in the Republic of Texas approve a proposed constitution, that if accepted by the U.S. Congress, will make Texas a U.S. state.

1881 – Revival of the Hebrew language as Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (a key figure in the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language) and friends agree to use Hebrew exclusively in their conversations.

1884 – Greenwich is established as universal time meridian of longitude. Greenwich is a district in south-east London, England, on the south bank of the River Thames in the London Borough of Greenwich. It is best known for its maritime history and as giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian (0° longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time. Which was chosen as the universal time meridian of longitude from which standard times throughout the world are calculated.

Royal Observatory Greenwich

The Royal Observatory, Greenwich – as depicted on a picture postcard in 1902

The town became the site of a Royal palace, the Palace of Placentia from the 15th century, and was the birthplace of many in the House of Tudor, including Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. The palace fell into disrepair during the English Civil War and was rebuilt as the Royal Naval Hospital for Sailors by Sir Christopher Wren and his assistant Nicholas Hawksmoor. These buildings became the Royal Naval College in 1873, and they remained an establishment for military education until 1998 when they passed into the hands of the Greenwich Foundation. The historic rooms within these buildings remain open to the public; other buildings are used by University of Greenwich and the Trinity College of Music.

Stood on the Meridian Line

A favourite thing to do when visiting is to stand with one foot either side of the Meridian Line and be photographed.

The town became a popular resort in the 17th century with many grand houses, such as Vanbrugh castle established on Maze Hill, next to the park. From the Georgian period estates of houses were constructed above the town centre. The maritime connections of Greenwich were celebrated in the 20th century, with the sitting of the Cutty Sark and Gypsy Moth IV next to the river front, and the National Maritime Museum in the former buildings of the Royal Hospital School in 1934. Greenwich formed part of Kent until 1889 when the County of London was created.
(Greenwich is pronounced: Gren–itch = ‘Grenitch’.)

1894 – The first Merseyside ‘derby’ football match was played at Goodison Park between Liverpool and Everton, with Everton winning 3 – 0.

1917 – The “Miracle of the Sun” is witnessed by an estimated 70,000 people in the Cova da Iria in Fátima, Portugal. The Miracle of the Sun is an alleged miraculous event witnessed by as many as 100,000 people on 13 October 1917 in the Cova da Iria fields near Fátima, Portugal.  Those in attendance had assembled to observe what the Portuguese secular newspapers had been ridiculing for months as the absurd claim of three shepherd children that a miracle was going to occur at high-noon in the Cova da Iria on October 13, 1917.

According to many witness statements, after a downfall of rain, the dark clouds broke and the sun appeared as an opaque, spinning disk in the sky. It was said to be significantly less bright than normal, and cast multicolored lights across the landscape, the shadows on the landscape, the people, and the surrounding clouds. The sun was then reported to have careened towards the earth in a zigzag pattern, frightening some of those present who thought it meant the end of the world. Some witnesses reported that their previously wet clothes became “suddenly and completely dry.”

Estimates of the number of witnesses range from 30,000-40,000 by Avelino de Almeida, writing for the Portuguese newspaper O Século, to 100,000, estimated by Dr. Joseph Garrett, professor of natural sciences at the University of Coimbra, both of whom were present that day.

The miracle was attributed by believers to Our Lady of Fátima, an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three young shepherd children in 1917, as having been predicted by the three children on 13 July, 19 August, and 13 September 1917.  The children reported that the Lady had promised them that she would on 13 October reveal her identity to them and provide a miracle “so that all may believe.”

According to these reports, the miracle of the sun lasted approximately ten minutes.  The three children also reported seeing a panorama of visions, including those of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of Saint Joseph blessing the people.

The most widely cited descriptions of the events reported at Fatima are taken from the writings of John De Marchi, an Italian Catholic priest and researcher. De Marchi spent seven years in Fátima, from 1943 to 1950, conducting original research and interviewing the principles at undisturbed length.  In The Immaculate Heart, published in 1952, De Marchi reports that, “their ranks (those present on 13 October) included believers and non-believers, pious old ladies and scoffing young men.  Hundreds, from these mixed categories, have given formal testimony. Reports do vary; impressions are in minor details confused, but none to our knowledge has directly denied the visible prodigy of the sun.”

Some of the witness statements follow below. They are taken from John De Marchi’s several books on the matter.

• “Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bare-headed, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws — the sun ‘danced’ according to the typical expression of the people.” ― Avelino de Almeida, writing for O Século (Portugal’s most widely circulated and influential newspaper, which was pro-government and anti-clerical at the time Almeida’s previous articles had been to satirize the previously reported events at Fátima).

    • “The sun, at one moment surrounded with scarlet flame, at another aureoled in yellow and deep purple, seemed to be in an exceeding fast and whirling movement, at times appearing to be loosened from the sky and to be approaching the earth, strongly radiating heat.” ― Dr. Domingos Pinto Coelho, writing for the newspaper Ordem.

“The sun’s disc did not remain immobile. This was not the sparkling of a heavenly body, for it spun round on itself in a mad whirl, when suddenly a clamor was heard from all the people. The sun, whirling, seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was terrible.” ― Dr. Almeida Garrett, Professor of Natural Sciences at Coimbra University.

• “As if like a bolt from the blue, the clouds were wrenched apart, and the sun at its zenith appeared in all its splendor. It began to revolve vertiginously on its axis, like the most magnificent firewheel that could be imagined, taking on all the colors of the rainbow and sending forth multi-colored flashes of light, producing the most astounding effect. This sublime and incomparable spectacle, which was repeated three distinct times, lasted for about ten minutes. The immense multitude, overcome by the evidence of such a tremendous prodigy, threw themselves on their knees.” ― Dr. Formigão, a professor at the seminary at Santarem, and a priest.

    • “I feel incapable of describing what I saw. I looked fixedly at the sun, which seemed pale and did not hurt my eyes. Looking like a ball of snow, revolving on itself, it suddenly seemed to come down in a zig-zag, menacing the earth. Terrified, I ran and hid myself among the people, who were weeping and expecting the end of the world at any moment.” ― Rev. Joaquim Lourenço, describing his boyhood experience in Alburitel, eighteen kilometers from Fatima.

• “On that day of October 13, 1917, without remembering the predictions of the children, I was enchanted by a remarkable spectacle in the sky of a kind I had never seen before. I saw it from this veranda…” ― Portuguese poet Afonso Lopes Vieira.

Critical evaluation of the event
No scientific accounts exist of any unusual solar or astronomic activity during the time the sun was reported to have “danced”, and there are no witness reports of any unusual solar phenomenon further than forty miles out from Cova da Iria.
De Marchi claims that the prediction of an unspecified “miracle”, the abrupt beginning and end of the alleged miracle of the sun, the varied religious backgrounds of the observers, the sheer numbers of people present, and the lack of any known scientific causative factor make a mass hallucination unlikely. That the activity of the sun was reported as visible by those up to 18 kilometers away, also precludes the theory of a collective hallucination or mass hysteria, according to De Marchi.

Pio Scatizzi, S.J. describes events of Fátima and concludes:

    The … solar phenomena were not observed in any observatory. Impossible that they should escape notice of so many astronomers and indeed the other inhabitants of the hemisphere… there is no question of an astronomical or meteorological event phenomenon …Either all the observers in Fátima were collectively deceived and erred in their testimony, or we must suppose an extra-natural intervention.

Steuart Campbell, writing for the 1989 edition of Journal of Meteorology, postulated that a cloud of stratospheric dust changed the appearance of the sun on 13 October, making it easy to look at, and causing it to appear yellow, blue, and violet and to spin. In support of his hypothesis, Mr. Campbell reports that a blue and reddened sun was reported in China as documented in 1983.

Joe Nickell, a skeptic and investigator of paranormal phenomena, claims that the position of the phenomenon, as described by the various witnesses, is at the wrong azimuth and elevation to have been the sun. He suggests the cause may have been a sundog. Sometimes referred to as a parhelion or “mock sun”, a sundog is a relatively common atmospheric optical phenomenon associated with the reflection/refraction of sunlight by the numerous small ice crystals that make up cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. A sundog is, however, a stationary phenomenon, and would not explain the reported appearance of the “dancing sun”. Nickell suggests an explanation for this and other similar phenomena may lie in temporary retinal distortion, caused by staring at the intense light and/or by the effect of darting the eyes to and fro so as to avoid completely fixed gazing (thus combining image, after image and movement). Nickell concludes that there was

“likely a combination of factors, including optical and meteorological phenomena (the sun being seen through thin clouds, causing it to appear as a silver disc; an alteration in the density of the passing clouds, so that the sun would alternatively brighten and dim, thus appearing to advance and recede; dust or moisture droplets in the atmosphere, imparting a variety of colours to sunlight; and/or other phenomena).”

However, there are marked problems with the sundog theory because the meteorological conditions at the time of the Miracle of the Sun were not conducive to such an occurrence.  Sundogs occur in the presence of cirrus clouds, which are made out of ice, not water droplets. A sundog could have occurred prior to the rainstorm but not trailing the rainstorm, which is when the phenomenon occurred. A sundog would have to have occurred, at very least, hours prior to the storm, since cirrus clouds can precede a rainstorm by a few hours. The short and brief rain experienced before the sun event, on the other hand, indicates cumulonimbus clouds.

Not everyone reported seeing the sun “dance, including the children, who reported seeing Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph blessing the people. Some people only saw the radiant colours. Others saw nothing at all.

Paul Simons, in an article entitled “Weather Secrets of Miracle at Fátima”, states that he believes it possible that some of the optical effects at Fatima may have been caused by a cloud of dust from the Sahara.

Kevin McClure claims that the crowd at Cova da Iria may have been expecting to see signs in the sun, as similar phenomena had been reported in the weeks leading up to the miracle. On this basis he believes that the crowd saw what it wanted to see. But it has been objected that McClure’s account fails to explain similar reports of people miles away, who by their own testimony were not even thinking of the event at the time, or the sudden drying of people’s sodden, rain-soaked clothes. Kevin McClure stated that he had never seen such a collection of contradictory accounts of a case in any of the research he had done in the previous ten years.

Leo Madigan believes that the various witness reports of a miracle are accurate, however he alleges inconsistency of witnesses, and suggests that astonishment, fear, exaltation and imagination must have played roles in both the observing and the retelling. Madigan likens the experiences to prayer, and considers that the spiritual nature of the phenomenon explains what he describes as the inconsistency of the witnesses.

Author Lisa Schwebel claims that the event was a supernatural extra-sensory phenomenon. Schwebel notes that the solar phenomenon reported at Fátima is not unique – there have been several reported cases of high-pitched religious gatherings culminating in the sudden and mysterious appearance of lights in the sky.

It has been argued that the Fátima phenomenon and many UFO sights share a common cause, or even that the phenomenon was an alien craft.

Many years after the events in question, Stanley L. Jaki, a professor of physics at Seton Hall University, New Jersey, Benedictine priest and author of a number of books reconciling science and Catholicism, proposed a unique theory about the supposed miracle. Jaki believes that the event was natural and meteorological in nature, but that the fact the event occurred at the exact time predicted was a miracle.

The event was officially accepted as a miracle by the Roman Catholic Church on 13 October 1930. On 13 October 1951, papal legate Cardinal Tedeschini told the million gathered at Fátima that on 30 October, 31 October, 1 November, and 8 November 1950, Pope Pius XII himself witnessed the miracle of the sun from the Vatican gardens.

External Links
Pictures of the crowd from, “Fatima Portugal Our Lady of Fatima”
“The True Story of Fatima” by Father John De Marchi

1924 – In Great Britain, – Labour Party leader Ramsay MacDonald became the first Prime Minister to make an election broadcast on BBC radio.

1940 – Princess Elizabeth, aged 14, (now Queen Elizabeth II), made her first radio broadcast to child evacuees.
1943 – World War II: The new government of Italy sides with the Allies and declares war on Germany.
The New York Times – front page news story

1958 – Burial of Eugenio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII on the 41st anniversary of the “Miracle of the Sun”.

1958 – Michael Bond publishes the first story on Paddington Bear.  Michael Bond, OBE, is an English children’s author.  He is the creator of Paddington Bear and has also written about the adventures of a guinea pig named Olga da Polga, as well as the animated BBC TV series The Herbs.  Bond also writes culinary mystery stories for adults featuring Monsieur Pamplemousse and his faithful bloodhound, Pommes Frites.

Paddington Bear 1

Michael Bond was born in Newbury, Berkshire, England on 13th January 1926.  He was educated at Presentation College, Reading.  During World War II Michael Bond served in both the Royal Air Force and the Middlesex Regiment of the British Army.

He began writing in 1945 and sold his first short story to a magazine called ‘London Opinion’. This experience helped him decide that he wanted to be a writer.

It was while Michael Bond was working as a television cameraman for the BBC that he first came up with the idea for Paddington and he recalls in his own words how this came about:

“I bought a small toy bear on Christmas Eve 1956. I saw it left on a shelf in a London store and felt sorry for it. I took it home as a present for my wife Brenda and named it Paddington as we were living near Paddington Station at the time. I wrote some stories about the bear, more for fun than with the idea of having them published. After ten days I found that I had a book on my hands. It wasn’t written specifically for children, but I think I put into it the kind things I liked reading about when I was young.”

Michael Bond sent the book to his agent, Harvey Unna, who liked it and after sending it to several publishers it was eventually accepted by William Collins & Sons (now Harper Collins).  The publishers commissioned an illustrator, Peggy Fortnum, and the very first book “A Bear Called Paddington” was published on 13th October 1958.  After the first Paddington book was accepted, Michael Bond went on to write a whole series.

The polite immigrant bear from Darkest Peru, with his old bush hat, battered suitcase and marmalade sandwiches became a classic English children’s literature icon.

In fact – by 1965 his books were so successful that Michael was able to give up his job with the BBC in order to become a full-time writer.

Paddington Bear 2

Since the first publication the Paddington books have sold more than thirty-five million copies worldwide and have been translated into over forty different languages, including Latin.

Paddington books have been translated into thirty languages across seventy titles and sold worldwide.  Over 265 licensees, making thousands of different products across the UK, Europe, USA, Southeast Asia, Japan, Australia and South Africa all benefit from the universal recognition of Paddington Bear.

In total Michael Bond has written almost 150 books, including his autobiography ‘Bears and Forebears’.

Paddington with Michael Bond

Michael Bond with Paddington – Britain’s most politest Bear!

Michael Bond sadly passed away 4 1/2 months ago, in London on 27 June 2017, at the wonderful age of 91.  Thank you Michael, for adding wonderfulness to children’s lives, and to the world in general.

1963 – The term Beatlemania was coined after The Beatles appeared at the Palladium, in London. They made their debut as the top of the bill on ITV’s ‘Sunday Night at The London Palladium.’
1967 – The first game in the history of the American Basketball Association is played as the Anaheim Amigos lose to the Oakland Oaks 134-129 in Oakland, California.

1971 – ‘World’ Series: The first night game in ‘World’ Series history is played at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium between the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates.
1972 – Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashes in the Andes mountains, in between the borders of Argentina and Chile. By December 23, 1972 only 16 out of 45 people lived long enough to be rescued.

1983 – Ameritech Mobile Communications (now AT&T) launched the first US cellular network in Chicago, Illinois. A cellular network is a radio network made up of a number of radio cells (or just cells) each served by a fixed transmitter, known as a cell site or base station. These cells are used to cover different areas in order to provide radio coverage over a wider area than the area of one cell. Cellular networks are inherently asymmetric with a set of fixed main transceivers each serving a cell and a set of distributed (generally, but not always, mobile) transceivers which provide services to the network’s users.
Cellular networks offer a number of advantages over alternative solutions:

    • • increased capacity
      • reduced power usage
      • better coverage

A good (and simple) example of a cellular system is an old taxi driver’s radio system where the taxi company will have several transmitters based around a city each operated by an individual operator.

1992 – In Great Britain, thousands of miners lose their jobs. The government announced plans to close one-third of Britain’s deep coal mines, putting 31,000 miners out of work.
BBC News Story

1993 – Captured American Pilot Mike Durant is filmed in an interview in captivity by a CNN camera crew.

Michael ‘Mike’ J. Durant (born July 23, 1961) is the American pilot who was held prisoner after a raid in Mogadishu, Somalia on October 3, 1993. Durant served in the United States Army 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Night Stalkers) as a Chief Warrant Officer 3. He retired from the Army as a CW4 Blackhawk helicopter Master Aviator in the 160th SOAR after participating in combat operations Prime Chance, Just Cause, Desert Storm, and Gothic Serpent. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, three Air Medals, POW Medal, and numerous others. He and his wife Lisa have six children.

1994 – In Northern IrelandThree main loyalist paramilitary groups announced a ceasefire following an IRA announcement weeks earlier.
BBC News on the Day complete with Video footage and Timeline of events

Born on this Day

1853 – Lillie Langtry, British actress (d. 1929)

1904 – Wilfred Pickles, English actor and broadcaster (d. 1978)

1917 – George Virl Osmond, Osmond family patriarch (d. 2007)

1925 – Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990.  Known as ‘The Iron Lady’ she was the longest-serving Prime Minister for more than 150 years.

1934 – Nana Mouskouri, Greek singer and politician

1941 – Paul Simon, American singer and musician (Simon and Garfunkel)

1944 – Robert Lamm, American musician (Chicago)

1946 – Edwina Currie, British politician

1947 – Sammy Hagar, American singer (Van Halen)

1948 – John Ford Coley, American musician – most well-known for his partnership in the musical duo England Dan & John Ford Coley.

1959 – Marie Osmond, American entertainer

1962 – Kelly Preston, American actress – married to John Travolta since 1991.

1969 – Nancy Kerrigan, American figure skater

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Thought for the Day 

What makes you think that what you’ve done in the past is worth carrying with you, like an old burden,  into this perfect moment.?  

Let go of it.

Mentally, envisage it as a way too big, dirty, old, overcoat that you have forced yourself to wear, day in, day out, for years.

It’s heavy, … it’s grubby,  …  it’s horrible.

Imagine yourself shrugging your shoulders and shrugging the overcoat off.  Feel it slipping down your arms, falling free of your hands and sliding to the floor around your feet.

Step out of it.  Now take your first step away from it.  Then stand for a moment and feel how much lighter your life feels without it.

Now – slowly – but in a better frame of mind . . .  walk away from it.

DON’T  look back.  DON’T  turn around.  You don’t need to look at it – it’s of no use to you.

You don’t need it anymore.  Leg it go.

With every step that you take away from it, feel how much lighter you become.  Feel how your footsteps become faster . . .  until you are almost skipping with joy!

Don’t drag old baggage around with you.  Each day is a new start.  What’s gone is gone.  Start anew.  Start NOW.

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Well we’ve reached our full input of Edumacation for Friday, and now that you’re filled with information which will surprise and astound some of your family and friends, I want you to go out there and spread that information around, for just like spreading fertiliser around your garden, which helps makes things grow … so your newly learned edumacation will enrich the world.  And quite frankly, at the moment, the world really needs as much enriching as possible.

Please, have a truly beautiful Friday.  There may be a gremlin that might just get into the day, but remember, it’s not what happens to you which matters in the long run, it’s how you react to what happens to you.  You have a choice.  Choose wisely because I want you to do the best you can possibly do, for YOU.

Sending squidges in wheel barrow loads …. right to your door!

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